Dunblane Cathedral, Scotland.

This evening, I am reporting on Dunblane Cathedral which is located in central Scotland, about forty-two miles N.W.of Edinburgh.

Dunblane is a small town with population of about 9,000 persons.

The term cathedral is, technically, a misnomer in the context of Dunblane because the building is used for worship by the (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland which does not ordain bishops. However, the building is still designated a cathedral in recognition of the building’s long Christian heritage dating to medieval times and Roman Catholic control. Scotland switched from Catholicism to Protestantism in 1560.

Dunblane is one of the few medieval cathedral churches in Scotland not in a ruined state and still used for worship.

South door at Dunblane Cathedral

Dunblane Cathedral, from North

The Nave dates from the mid 13th century during the bishopric of Clement. Lacking a wealthy patron, Dunblane was built with modest aspirations in terms of grandeur.

Nave at Dunblane Cathedral

This Pictish stone is one of my key, personal interests. It probably dates from the 9th century and features designs in common with similar carved stones in Pictland. This particular stone was found under the floor of the chapter house in 1873.

(We learn of the Picts from the Romans who called the people Pictii or ‘painted men’. Our knowledge base of the Picts is woefully low with much left to speculation. This is because (a) the Picts seem to have left no record of a written language and (b) they were never assimilated within the Roman Empire thus only tidbits of information from Roman sources are available. The Picts were ultimately subsumed, around the 9th century, within a united country of what is now Scotland ruled by the Gaelic speaking Scots.)

Pictish Cross at Dunblane Cathedral, Scotland.

The Dunblane site can trace its Christian pedigree back to St. Blane in around AD 600. A stone church was built in the 12th century of which only traces remain. Much of the present building dates from the 13th century. The tower evident in the image below may have originally been detached from the church building and used for defence as well as for a belfry.

Entrance to Dunblane Cathedral

Overall, this is a quality and historic site deserving of a visit.

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